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Webmatters : Wicres route de la Bassée Soldatenfriedhof

Wicres, route de la Bassée

Location

Wicres is a small village in the Départment du Nord, some 8 kilometres north-north-east of La-Bassée, on the Béthune-Lille road (N41).

From Arras, it is more convenient to take the N47 which joins the N 41 at Illies. Continue past Illies as far as Herlies. You will see the cemetery on your right. To reach it, turn right at the Herlies roundabout and then turn right again onto the track running alongside the main road. This will lead you back to the cemetery.

Turning left at the roundabout will take you to Fromelles.

To reach the other German cemetery at Wicres village, go back the way you have come and turn right at the main road (away from the roundabout) and then take the next left follow the road to the church.

GPS N E Wikimapia
Decimal 50.564792 2.849536 Map

Wicres route de la Bassée Soldatenfriedhof

 

Historical Information

This German Military cemetery was established in March 1915 for the casualties of the 15th Infantry Regiment and the 15th Reserve Infantry Regiment who were both stationed in this area up until March 1916.

Memorial inscription to IR 15

Memorial inscription to IR 15

The great majority of the casualties buried here (470) fell during the British campaigns of 1915 (Neuve Chapelle; Aubers Ridge, Festubert and Loos).

Memorial stones

Memorial stones

Following the war the French authorities moved a number of casualties of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiments 16 and 17 into this cemetery.

Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 was that in which Adolf Hitler served throughout the war. He came back to visit this area following the fall of France in 1940.

Wicres route de la Bassée Soldatenfriedhof

The cemetery wall was created during the war and the central cross is a work by the sculptor Otto Richter, who also created the façade decorations at the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Leutnant Gustav Lange

Leutnant Gustav Lange : his original gravestone

The cemetery now contains 584 casualties from the First World War. Each has an individual grave but 30 are unknown (Unbekannt). The grave of the solitary Jewish soldier was given his own burial.

An unknown soldier and Gefreiter Benjamin Winterhoff

An unknown soldier and Gefreiter Benjamin Winterhoff

 

Other cemeteries in the area